General aviation (GA) airports in São Paulo state should see improvements, according to Fábio Calloni, superintendent of São Paulo state aviation authority DAESP. The authority manages 20 GA airports, including Sorocaba.
While several new business aviation airports have started with great promise and stalled or disappeared, Sorocaba had quietly but steadily improved and is now home to Embraer, Dassault, Gulfstream, and Pratt & Whitney Canada service centers, as well as FBO World Wide Aviation. Sorocaba’s latest improvement, a control tower, has completed construction, but as Calloni said, “It needs to be installed and operating. We’ve put out a bid to equip the tower and we’ve picked a vendor, but we still have to wait for other bidders to appeal. It has to be approved by [air traffic control body] DECEA, and then we have to hire an operating company or hire operators.” He expects the process to be concluded next year.
Instrument flight rules (IFR) operation is another project for Sorocaba. “With the tower and instrument operation, we will move toward more consistent operations at Sorocaba. These are parallel processes,” Calloni said. Internationalization of the airport, he added, “went to [national civil aviation council] CONAER the week before last. It’s a DAESP project, the first project in the country specifically to internationalize a business aviation airport.” DAESP already has achieved internationalization of the airport at São Carlos, home to LATAM’s main airliner maintenance facility. “Next is enabling customs clearance at the airport, so that any aircraft in the world can come to São Carlos for maintenance. It’s expected for this year. Sorocaba is next.”
Internationalization, Calloni said, “is a rigorous process. CONAER includes representatives of the federal police [immigration], tax authorities [customs], Anvisa [health],“ as well as agricultural quarantine. “All four are in CONAER, and the demands of each must be met for approval. It’s a long process.” The last step, once CONAER has approved, is for DECEA to work out international procedures with its foreign counterparts.